SENATE REPUBLICANS CAN’T GOVERN: HUMAN TRAFFICKING EDITION: It seems we’re given weekly examples of just how irresponsibly Senate Republicans plan on governing this Congress. Whether it’s potentially shutting down the Department of Homeland Security, undermining negotiations to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, or most recently attacking women’s health at the expense of human trafficking victims, Senate Republicans are intent standing shoulder to shoulder with Democrats as we work to take back the majority. See our statement below:
“The lengths that Republican Senators are willing to go to attack women’s health, even at the expense of victims of human trafficking is simply unconscionable,” said Justin Barasky, DSCC Communications Director. “How much longer will the Republican Senate tell victims of human trafficking that their plight is less important than the GOP’s continued goal of taking away the rights of women to make their own decisions? It is abundantly clear that Republican Senators like Ron Johnson, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey and others have no interest in governing responsibly.”
GOP PLAYS HIDE AND SEEK ON MEDICARE CUTS. The Republican Senate budget released this week remains vague on Medicare cuts in an attempt to hide from voters the new majority’s desire to balance the budget on the backs of seniors. The problem with their game of hide and seek? The most vulnerable Republican senators, including Ron Johnson, Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman and Pat Toomey have all voted for the Ryan budget that would gut Medicare and increase costs for seniors… more than once.
QUESTIONS FOR THE HALLWAYS NEXT WEEK: These Senators should reveal the cuts they plan to make.
KIRK’S CAN’T STOP STEPPING IN IT. Mark Kirk continues to make outrageous, inflammatory statements every single week. This time the vulnerable Illinois senator faced blowback for comparing defending women’s rights to defending slavery. The statement, which was referred to as “bonkers” and “bizarre,” comes on the heels of his recent comments that Republicans should build “coffins outside of each Democratic office” in the event of an attack during a DHS shutdown.
Chicago Sun Times: Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk Implies Democrats Are Defending Slavery
JOHNSON’S LAME BOOK OF EXCUSES. This week, Ron Johnson tried yet another excuse to explain away his failure to act on whistleblower complaints about the Tomah VA that were brought to his office. Johnson has tried denial, blaming his staff, and blaming his colleague Sen. Tammy Baldwin. This week’s newest excuse? His staff was busy conducting “job interviews and stuff.”
His full explanation, from Talking Points Memo:
“So, sure, in a perfect world, had this not occurred during an election cycle, when we were in recess, during the lame duck session, when there’s an awful lot of turnover in offices, when people maybe are looking at, you know, doing job interviews and stuff,” Johnson continued.
OUR READ: Senators have to walk and chew gum at the same time, and Johnson’s latest excuse tells veterans in Wisconsin that they better not have a problem during recess, lame duck sessions or basically anytime the office might be conducting job interviews. The fact that Johnson has done absolutely nothing to take responsibility or hold his office accountable after sitting on these whistleblower tips is troubling, especially since he once considered purging his entire staff for not being political enough.
DSCC TOPS NRSC FUNDRAISING IN FEBRUARY. The DSCC had its best off-year February in the history of the committee, raising $4.34 million and outraising the NRSC by more than half a million dollars.
Roll Call: DSCC Raises More Than NRSC In February
Washington Examiner: Senate Democrats Outraise The GOP In February
IN THE STATES:
OHIO – STRICKLAND PILES UP ENDORSEMENTS. The Youngstown Vindicator reports on the nine Eastern Ohio Dem officials who have announced they’ll back Strickland.
MISSOURI – BLUNT TAPS LOBBYIST SON TO HELP CARRY WASHINGTON BAGGAGE. Washington insider Roy Blunt hired his lobbyist son to manage his reelection campaign. One Missouri outlet says the move will“highlight the senator’s links to lobbyists.”
NEVADA – OPENING SHOTS IN GOP SENATE PRIMARY. GOP primary in the Nevada Senate race looks well underway –City Councilman Bob Beers blasted his potential primary opponent Michael Roberson for getting rich off the taxpayers’ dime, just one day after Roberson introduced a bill that would help paper over his shady record on ethics.
NEW HAMPSHIRE – AYOTTE STILL CATCHING HEAT AT HOME FOR IRAN LETTER. Ayotte is still stinging in New Hampshire for her decision to sign on to the reckless and irresponsible letter to Iran. The fifth local editorial board took her to task for her reckless decision this week, and nearly 50 letters to the editor ran in every corner of the state condemning Ayotte. And don’t miss this op-ed from a former Ambassador who calls her move “inexcusable.”
ARIZONA – MORE TROUBLE FOR MCCAIN. McCain has been facing the threat of a primary challenger for weeks, and state Sen. Kelli Ward confirmed this week that she is “testing the waters” and considering mounting a bid to challenge McCain.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: It’s back, and the first Tweet of the Week for 2015 goes to National Journal’s Alex Roarty who said: “More heat for Johnson’s reaction to in-state VA medical center, an ongoing story (relentlessly highlighted by @dscc)”